Monday, October 03, 2005

Why why WHY with the shopping carts!!!

Few things chap me more than to see someone leave their shopping cart next to someone else's car and then drive away. One of my all-time biggest pet peeves. Why do people do that? Why litter the landscape with your leftovers? Do you allow your kids to leave their shoes out so someone else has to deal with them? No! It's a matter of respect for those around you. Just walk it to the Cart Caddy, it ain't that hard! (Or Kart Kaddy - it's an east coast/west coast thing... I believe Southerners prefer Buggy Corral).

One day not long ago I was in line behind a lady at the Winco store who, upon emptying her grocery order out of the cart, left said cart at the end of the conveyor belt and proceeded through the line. I was instantly irritated when I realized that, not only did she have no intention of putting her cart away but she was just leaving it there in the check-out line!

She was fashionably clad in her yoga pants and teeny tiny hoodie sweatshirt, all cuteness and health, quite easy on the eyes I must say. I'm secure enough in my womanhood to say quite frankly that she was enjoyable to look at. But you could tell she knew it. I hate that. And she had that intolerable "my car is bigger and better than yours and my kids are smarter" attitude about her and I hate that even more. Two strikes - prettier than me AND snobbish.

I locked eyes with the kid in the cart behind me, who incidentally had his index finger knuckle-deep in his sinuses picking for all he was worth. We agreed: this lady was goin' down. I swear I could hear the music from "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" in the background.

I decided right then and there that she wasn't going to get away with it. I took one look at her and knew this woman had been leaving empty grocery carts in parking lots all over town for years. Well no sir, not this time! I was going to win one for the Gipper! (Okay, by the way, who the heck is the Gipper and why can't that guy win anything on his own?)

Anyway, I smiled sweetly and pushed her cart over to her saying, "here ya go." (cue a cute little chuckle and another sweet smile.) She just looked down at the cart, then glanced smugly up at me and kept moving through the line. Unbelievable.

When she was paying for her groceries, I pushed her cart to her again (because she'd completely ignored it sitting there in the line) and I said, "boy, this thing just keeps trying to get away from you!" (chuckle chuckle smile smile.) Again, she just looked at me! I couldn't believe it. I looked around to see if I was the only one noticing this. Even The Picker was speechless.

It seemed as though my patented smile-disarmingly-distract-them-with-my-super-cute-baby-in-the-carseat-nicey-nice approach was getting me nowhere. Dang. It always works on old men. But apparently this lady's hearing and eyesight were better than that of the last old man I'd encountered. Oh well, that's fine. I can be direct. I looooove to be direct. heeeeee!

Now the woman had finished bagging her groceries and was walking away without her cart! I called out, "just a moment ma'am, here's your cart." Still polite but very direct. On the Emily Post scale of 1-10, I'd say I rated an 8. Yoga Pants had the nerve to whip that perfectly highlighted blond ponytail of hers around and snap, "I was done with it!"

This was it --- the moment! My opportunity to win one small battle in the war fought every day by grocery store employees the world over. Nobody asked me to be their poster child but I volunteered for the job! I love a good fight! I strapped on my pink flack jacket with the batenburg lace utility pockets and the little sterling silver heart thingy on the zipper pull and marched straight to the front lines.

Yoga Pants pivoted on her Reeboks and faced me, clearly irritated at having to explain the obvious to the likes of me. I gathered my skirts about me and set my feet, I squared my shoulders, flared my nostrils and retorted "Well what makes you think the rest of the world wants to clean up after you? Put.. your cart.. away!"

There was a collective intake of breath the likes of which I've never heard. The Picker stopped picking. The checker stopped checking, her fingers poised above the cash register keys, and surveyed the scene, no doubt wondering if Olaf from produce was within earshot. Nobody moved. Nobody breathed.

It was at that moment that I realized I hadn't been breathing either. I was busy planning my hasty escape via the back door. If I exploded my bag of flour in a cloud of smoke I was sure I could outrun her.

It seemed like an eternity but in reality it was only a few seconds before she grabbed her cart and with a mighty "hrumph" flounced off in the direction of the Cart Caddy, perfectly highlighted blond ponytail and all.

The Picker resumed his picking, the checker resumed her checking, and Olaf went back to his asparagus display. All was quiet again. Dellaina the Great had fought and won. I rewarded myself with a double tall hazelnut mocha at Starbucks and wondered if I could expect a thank you note from the Gipper.

I've since wondered if Yoga Pants continues to leave her carts for others to shag up or if she actually puts them away. I'll probably never know. Hopefully she thinks about me every time she picks up her husband's underwear.

I've also wondered if The Picker's finger would stick like that if I smacked him on the back. But some things are just better left alone, eh?


Anonymous said...


Jennifer said...

Good for you, that is a win for all women who are overrun by yoga ladies carts and other garbage they leave behind.


Jennifer said...

Go Dellania! You rock girly!! (lurking from BBC ;) ). As your "host", I have to say, I'm glad you're on our side! LOL

Caitlin Rawson Desicison Maker said...

Hey Dellaina-
Very nicely written, I would like to add that i am constantly battling yoga pants who refuse to return their carts, thanks for taking one for the team. As always I enjoyed reading your blog. * Lil Buds and Blossoms Caitlin

Dallas said...

Way to sock it to Yoga Pants. I always try, but it never turns out as triumpant as your encounter!

Alana said...

Brilliantly written and so funny.
I think that yoga pants woman might have moved to Australia - I'm sure I saw her here the other day!

DutchAmyinSF said...

Hahaha! Right on, woman. They should make you pay money to borrow them, and thus get your money only if you return them - like the luggage carts at the airport. I wonder how much we could make marketing that idea? :P

Natalie said...

Deallaina, I love your blog! very Seinfeld!
(knsydsmom lurking from BBC)

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for the laugh. Whenever I try to be clever in my blog, my mother in law calls me to explain it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dellaina! I haven't had that kind of laugh in days. Even here in Canada, where the majority of people are PAINFULLY polite, we have the odd yoga pants mucking up the grocery line and the parking lot. :)

robi said...

What a quick whit and great writing abilities.. GOod for you.. that was too funny.. I often get cought in those situations and which i had the courage/words to express how i really feel..
If there were more like you maybe this world would be a better place..

I had one lady unload her cart at a Toys R Us and then place her basket behind my car. I was already in the car and I have a suv and just happened to notice her irrisponsibility. I got out and asked her why she was leaving it behind my car and pushed it back behind her car.. My teenager was mortified but it didn't seem to bother her she just put her cigarrette down got out of the car and moved it between the cars and got back in with the young girl in the car..

I feel ya girl

Robi from BBC
Andreas 11/20/03
Elias 4/4/05

LoveALatte said...

You wrote: "my pink flack jacket with the batenburg lace utility pockets and the little sterling silver heart thingy on the zipper pull"

Okay, the thing is, I can see you in my mind's eye, wearing this, prepared to spray Yoga Pants in the face with a bottle of room temperature breast milk, if necessary, to facilitate your escape.

This is one of the funniest things I've read in a long, long time. I'm sure the grocery cart contingent thanks you, too.


Anonymous said...

Woo Hoo Dellaina!!!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Dellaina! You are too funny :) Thanks for the laughs on this cold, dreary morning!

Anonymous said...

Ha!!! Very good Dell

D from the mommy board

cat said...

Horray! Another one of me out there. I hate people that leave their cart like that and have been called many very uncute names for speaking to people about it. One woman pushed her cart to the back side of the caddy right in front of me. I took it and, very loudly, commented on the laziness of people. She was slow about the cart but very fast with the B word.

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